Senate Thursday expressed worry over dominance of foreign operators in the employment of personels in the nation’s diving sector.
Specifically, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Content, Senator Teslim Folarin (APC Oyo Central), made the remark at an investigative hearing on a motion to ensure strict compliance with statutory regulations and provisions in the Nigerian Diving Sector.
He said the meeting which was at the instance of the committee, was designed to investigate claims of contravention of relevant statutory provisions in the area of diving in the oil and gas sector.
According to him, the Nigerian oil and gas industry Content Development Act, 2010 provided that 70 per cent of divers in offshore energy projects must be Nigerians.
“Section 28 sub-section (1) provided that Nigerians should be accorded first consideration for employment and training in project to be executed by the operator in oil and gas industry,” he said.
He, however,said foreign dominance has been alleged to have deprived indigenous divers their rightful place in line with the act.
This, he added, was unacceptable, particularly at a time when unemployment is at record levels which warranted the invitation of some of the key operators in oil and gas sector to give their perspectives on the issue.
He declared that it was important for a proper regulatory mechanism to be put in place to enable the diving sector thrive and benefit Nigerians more.
The investigative hearing , he explained further, provides needed platform for relevant stakeholders to brainstorm on how best to address challenges inherent in the sector and make appropriate legislative recommendations to revamp the diving sector just as he assured stakeholders that their views would be look into dispassionately in the interest of Nigeria.
“This commitee is delighted that the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo had inagurated the board in line with the diving Act Work Regulation 2018.
“This is a clear demonstration that Honourable Minister is not oblivious of the fact that the inauguration is necessary for development of this sector,” he said.
He, however, said it was important the minister briefs the committee on what the board has done since inauguration along with plans to fufill its statutory role.
Responding, Mr Festus Keyamo, said it was discovered that there had been some lacuna in the regulatory activities of the diving sector which he assured will be thoroughly addressed.